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The Orphan's Tale: A Novel Hardcover – February 21, 2017
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About the Author
Pam Jenoff is the author of several novels, including the international bestseller The Kommandant's Girl, which also earned her a Quill Award nomination. Pam lives with her husband and three children near Philadelphia where, in addition to writing, she teaches law school.
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This has to be one of my favorite Pam Jenoff’s novels. The historical fiction novel takes place during World War Two, and the Holocaust. This is a turbulent and devastating period in history. Pam Jenoff’s description of the isolation and depravity of the towns and villages as well as the attitudes of people during this time period is extraordinary and exceptional.
The author has been so ambitious in weaving her tale, there is so much to absorb. One of the main characters, Noa,gets pregnant by a German soldier, and is forced to give up her baby. Noa’s family is intolerant and throws her out, where she is forced to clean near a railway station. Noa discovers a railroad car filled with Jewish babies, some alive, destined to a concentration camp, and decides to take one of the babies. She names him Theo, and is forced to escape in the ice and cold with no papers.
Noa winds up in a German Circus. The owner of the Circus, has tried to provide safety for Jewish people, and offers Noa a job.
At this time Noa meets Astrid, an acrobat in this circus. Astrid is Jewish, and was part of a Jewish Circus. Astrid is instructed to teach Noa how to do acrobatics. The two of them have a conflicted friendship based on a lack of trust and a need for survival. Astrid does not know where her family is, and is divorced.
We do meet a number of complex characters.
In my opinion, Pam Jenoff compares the indifference and immorality of people with courageous, caring people who offer hope, faith and love, and are willing to take risks.
Kudos to Pam Jenoff for telling an amazing story, and bringing a different perspective to light. I am left with so many provoking thoughts and questions. I highly recommend “The Orphan’s Tale as a wonderful novel of historical fiction genre.